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Saturday, 28 May 2022

Finger Update

    Went for a check-up of my finger and had the splint adjusted to keep it straighter. Unfortunately I have to continue to wear it for another 4 weeks and then will graduate to a velcro splint. I am hoping I will be able to get back to tennis then as I am sorely missing it. Also, it is difficult to keep it clean and dry (my yellow rubber glove is my new best friend) so it is becoming a bit of a nuisance. My pool will be ready in the next week or two but I doubt I will be swimming much until July!


   I wear it while chopping vegetables, handling meat and even when eating a "hands-on" meal like burritos or barbecued chicken wings!

Thursday, 26 May 2022

A Possible Replacement

    My last remaining Wiegela bush (there were three) is in full bloom this week and I am considering it as a replacement for the Spruce. It's fairly tidy and will grow about 6 feet tall so would fill the space nicely, given a few years. 


   The two I lost had a deeper red blossom so maybe I will go with that this time.

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

The Stump

    Well, it's gone and all that's left is the stump and a ton of cones and sawdust. The logs were put out at the curb and were gone by this afternoon. The rest of the debris which wasn't carted away by the tree guys will be picked up (I hope) by the garden refuse collectors There are 6 bags! They are supposed to come today but haven't been yet due, I think, to all the trees that came down in last Saturday's storm. I passed one today that was spread over two front lawns. It was huge!

   Here is all that remains of the Norway Spruce. You can see how it had outgrown the small space it was planted in. Now I need to decide what to put there to hide the composter.



Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Today the Tree Came Down

    After waiting weeks for the permit, the time has come for the Norway Spruce in my back yard to be brought down. I forgot to take a "before" photo but here is the progress so far.


   This is the long-awaited permit which has to be displayed prominently.


You can see Jay standing on one of the lower branches which he left as he worked up the tree.


Now he is approaching the summit. I had to leave at this point as it was beginning to look dangerous!


When I returned a couple of hours later the worst was over. They are still working on it (7:00 p.m.) and I think they will have to come back tomorrow to finish up. The mess is incredible, pine cones everywhere! I am so glad I waited until it was done to take the cover off the pool. Hopefully in the next day or two I will be able to post a photo of my reclaimed back yard.


Saturday, 21 May 2022

Was it a Tornado?

    I was going to write more about my garden but we had a massive storm a few hours ago so that takes precedence. First I heard was an emergency "Take cover" message on my phone. Then the sky got really dark and the winds whipped up. The rain was torrential for a while. It was pretty spectacular!

   Everyone was out on the street after it passed over assessing the damage. One neighbour had a tree come down on his garage roof which is quite damaged. Another couple of houses lost part of their roofing. I got a small scratch on my car from flying debris but think I got off easy. I will have my handyman check my roof to make sure it is still intact.

   Before the storm I took this photo of a corner of my garden. It seems to have survived untouched, thank goodness!


     Bleeding Hearts and Violets look nice together. They have both spread from the original plants and come up faithfully every year. 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Yoga

     Since I couldn't go to my regular Thursday tennis game (it was wet anyway) I went to Yoga instead. It was a good session but, as Jai, our teacher, reminded us, once a week is really not enough to keep us supple and active. I managed to do a new exercise, full squats down and back up, which several of the class didn't manage. I think I will look for something on You Tube to do in between classes.

    The rest of the day went pretty well - it gradually dried off and warmed up as the day progressed. I got quite a bit of gardening (i.e. weeding) done before lunch and again in the afternoon and I managed to catch the itinerant tool sharpener guy as he drove down my street. Now my garden shears are super sharp and polished!

   An easy dinner tonight - leftover barbecued chicken drumsticks, just need to heat them up and cook some more veggies! A new "Death in Paradise" on TV tonight on PBS (no commercials) and "Inspector Morse" which I have probably seen before. I also have a DVD from the library as a backup. 

   And, finally, I managed both the Wordles today, so, all in all, it has been a successful day!

Sunday, 15 May 2022

A Big Decision

    I have come to the conclusion that I won`t be able to play tennis for the next few weeks. The splint on my finger (unfortunately on my dominant hand) is making it too difficult to hit the ball without pain, plus it has rubbed up blisters on the adjoining fingers which will never heal if I keep playing. I am sad to let my tennis friends down but we were already missing one who is on an overseas trip and scrambling each week to find a replacement. 

    Anyone who follows my blog will know that tennis is a major part of my summer but I will just have to content myself with watching matches on TV. Also there`s lots of gardening to do (I got in some tomato and kale plants this weekend) but that is also hampered by the splint (trying to keep it clean and dry) although not as painful.

   I am trying to be philosophical about my current woes - what`s one summer out of so many I have enjoyed on the tennis courts? - but am just praying that I will be able to salvage some time later on. Wish me luck!

Friday, 13 May 2022

Orange Tulips

    Don't remember planting the tulips in my new header photo but they are gorgeous, aren't they? I think the squirrels may have had something to do with their placement, my neighbour has some like this!

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

The Finger

    I hope this will be the final episode of my finger injury. I finally saw the doctor at the Fracture clinic today and, after another X-ray and an interminable wait, (actually the whole process took just over two hours) he sent me to an occupational therapist who specializes in hand trauma. She outfitted me with a better splint - not as inconvenient as the other one and I can remove it once a day and replace the tape. However, I have to keep it on for 6 weeks and no guarantee there will be any improvement.


   Seemingly my arthritis is quite advanced but so far I am still able to do most things. As long as I can still play tennis I will be quite philosophical about it. Not that anything can be done for it anyway. I think playing the piano is definitely out!

Monday, 9 May 2022

Mother's Day

    This arrived at my front door yesterday, courtesy of my son in Victoria, B.C. Then we chatted on the phone and brought each other up-to-date with what's going on in our lives.


   I have never seen African Violets in that particular colour before. At first I thought they were artificial, but, no, they are live! The planter will certainly last much longer than the usual bouquet but I already have so many indoor plants, 23 at the last count. Maybe I will donate these new ones to a retirement home when I grow tired of caring for them. Your thoughts?

   Some of my indoor plants will go outside once the threat of frost is past but others are just too delicate for our scorching summer sunlight.

Saturday, 7 May 2022

First Lunch Outdoors

    A pre- Mother's Day lunch at daughter's house today so she can have her own Mother's Day special tomorrow.  Both the Grans were there (myself and SIL's mother) and it was actually our ritual "afternoon tea" - home baked scones, finger sandwiches and petit fours, with lots of a special tea to wash it all down. There was some wine as well! Tonight I'll just have a salad. Luckily I have some cold chicken, olives and feta cheese to eat up. Oh, forgot to mention, there was an abundance of chocolate too!

   The weather was very obliging and we sat outside until late afternoon. It was the first really warm day we have had this year so perfect timing IMHO. Then we came indoors and went on Zoom to the family in Victoria B.C. so all bases covered. 

   I stopped by the Garden Centre on the way home, looking for Kale as I missed it last year. It wasn't in yet but they said they would put some aside for me once it arrives, if I call and remind them. The place was jammed so next time I will NOT go on a Saturday.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Good Things Come in Threes

        First cut of the grass today - it's looking very healthy as I gave it a feed of fertilizer earlier this month and we have had quite a bit of rain. Now just need to put down some grass seed in the bare spots. I collected the cuttings and have filled the composter again so lots of new compost for the garden soon.

    We had a good game of tennis this morning as the weather was perfect, but we will need to find another player next week as Susan is off for a three week vacation soon. She is going to see family in the U.K. whom she hasn't seen for almost three years due to Covid. I skipped yoga as it was so much nicer to be outdoors. I even managed to discard a layer and play without gloves, it was so much warmer than last week!

   The permit has been approved for the demolition of the tree in my back yard - looks like it might get done before it's time to get the pool open. Things are definitely looking up!

Sunday, 1 May 2022

May Day

    A happy return to our thrice weekly tennis today - Cathy brought us some fun tennis socks from her winter sojourn in Florida.



   After a glorious day yesterday, it was cold and blustery today. But we soldiered through for an hour which was enough for the first time out. Next week we have two hour sessions booked which will be a bit more challenging. 

   After playing we retired to Tim Horton's for coffee and donuts ( my favourite, sour cream glazed was yummy) and some catch up on what has being going on in our lives since the last time we played in November. Now we have the whole summer ahead of us!

Friday, 29 April 2022

Things Opening Up

   I haven't been up to much recently, hence no posts, but this week has been a bit busier.

    At the moment I am going out three evenings a week to my dance groups and this week I was also out on Wednesday to see an amateur theatre production. Daughter had a small part in it and #1 grandson was helping with the sound effects. So, a chance to check in with them. The show, "The Ladykillers", was very funny and well performed and I will definitely go to their next production.

   The fitness classes and Yoga are coming to close as I switch over to summer activities. We had a short go on the tennis courts on Sunday and will start our regular schedule of three times a week soon. I was happy my injured finger didn't interfere with my game but I have seen the doctor and had an X-ray (just ligament damage she thinks) and will see a hand specialist sometime in the future - not holding my breath for that!

  The forsythia has bloomed this week and I can see some buds on the clematis - whoop-te-do!




Saturday, 23 April 2022

Golden Sunshine (not the heavenly sort)

     I worked through my tax return today and it looks like I may get a small refund. I just have to double check all the figures and make sure I haven't missed any deductions. At least it keeps my brain active!

    This afternoon, in order to take a break, I made some marmalade. It's an unusual recipe I got from a TV show (Nigella Lawson for those foodies out there) and it requires the oranges to be boiled whole for two hours until they are quite soft. I did that part yesterday. Today I just had to slice them thinly and boil with sugar. I did use a packet of pectin as I have had trouble getting marmalade to set in the past. It seems to be quite firm.


    This was from three oranges and a kilo of sugar. Can't wait to try it!

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Dashing Around

    Today I had a busy morning but I organized it perfectly so everything fell into place. An early (for me) breakfast before Yoga class at 9:00 a.m followed by a dental appointment, just a cleaning. After that I headed straight to Tim Horton's for coffee and a doughnut as I was missing my caffeine fix, it was yummy! I try not to hit Tim's more than once a week as I know the calories mount up.

   Yesterday the arborist arrived to take down some cedars in my front yard so there was a bit of a clean up to do today. He has left the larger logs for someone (not sure who) to pick up. That hasn't happened yet so this afternoon I tidied the pile and removed some of the smaller logs to use in the fireplace. If the pile is still here tomorrow I will ask him to remove it before I hand over the cash for the work done. No news yet on the permit for the spruce in my back yard but it's still early days.


Lots of good wood here but I'm not about to start chopping it into logs!

   Now I am exhausted and glad of a night at home. Luckily there is still food (and wine) left over from the weekend so no cooking required!

Monday, 18 April 2022

What the.....?

 Just stuck my nose out the door and was  greeted with this.....


Yes, it's snowing and quite heavily! I will have to be careful driving to my dancing class tonight!

    This was supposed to be a quiet, restful day after having the family over yesterday for Easter lunch, but it turned out to be quite packed. The morning started with clearing the dishwasher and coping with all the greasy pots left over from the lunch. After a cold, windy walk I got bread started in the bread machine. 

   After lunch and a nap I got out what I needed to complete my tax return. I only got as far as establishing my net income for 2021 before my brain begged for a break so I stopped for a glass of wine and some nibbles. Then it was time to start a batch of yogurt in the InstaPot and it will work its magic overnight. I'll finish my tax return in the next few days. No need to overdo it as it's not due until April30th.

   Jay (the arborist) called to say he will come tomorrow to take down some of the overgrown trees at my front. I think the snow may make him reconsider, though! The permit is in for the Spruce in my back yard but it won't be approved for a few weeks yet. I have postponed my pool opening until June in the hope the tree will be down before then. 

Saturday, 16 April 2022

Yoga and Some Shopping

    As luck would have it, I managed to register for the Yoga class at the Seniors' Centre this session. These classes are extremely popular as they are free and the teacher, Jai, is excellent. I have been to two classes so far and although it has stretched me beyond what I thought I was capable of, it has been enjoyable. The balance poses are the hardest but this week I managed to hold them for a few seconds - a definite improvement on last week. I even managed a (somewhat) shoulder stand! I'm sure I will keep improving.

   On Friday, when most places were closed, I went to the Garden Centre and made some good purchases. I really wanted to see if they had any early Kale as I missed it last year, but not yet. However, there were lots of other things.


   Some pansies for the front porch.


A couple of primulas to fill in the front border while I await the arrival of the tulips. They are slow this year, no buds showing yet.


...... and a new Spring wreath for my front door. This was a bit of a splurge but it is to replace the one I have used for many years which has gotten decidedly dowdy. I may even have had it in my previous house and I've been here 24 years!

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

Something Finally Blooming!

    Yesterday and today have been gloriously warm and sunny but now we have rain and frost overnight one day later this week. Winter is nor done with us yet but it is definitely on the wane!


   At last something blooming in my garden. I don't know what they are called but they are coming up in several places, even the lawn! I haven't had to cut the grass yet so they can bloom undisturbed.

   I think I mentioned that my garlic has sprouted and is about 3 inches tall. I also saw a tiny red leaf in my rhubarb patch. It will be a while until I can pick any but it is wonderful to see this sign of life. My only worry is my clematis which had to be moved when the fence was repaired last Fall. No sign that it survived being transplanted but I will keep my fingers crossed.

Friday, 8 April 2022

Injured!

     A couple of weeks ago I slipped on the last of the ice and jammed my finger to break my fall. It was swollen for a few days but, when the swelling went down I noticed that the top joint was "wobbly". A friend who is a retired nurse took one look at it and said it needed to be seen by a doctor. Unfortunately my family doctor's office is closed until next week and my local walk-in clinic is no longer "walk-in" and just doing phone consultations!

    My friend suggested a finger splint so I managed to track one down. I have my doubts on its effectivity but will wear it until I can see the doctor. 


   It is making everything very awkward from brushing my teeth, combing my hair etc. to peeling vegetables and washing dishes. I didn't realize important all my fingers are, especially as it is on my dominant hand (my left). Hope it is healed before we start to play tennis!

Monday, 4 April 2022

A First and a Last

    The first meeting of the Knitters and Crafters this morning, since March 2020. Not a great turnout, we are all seniors and I think some are still reluctant to meet indoors. I managed to get rid of some of the yarn that has been cluttering my basement storage area, and Pat took some Twiddlemuffs to distribute to LTC homes that she visits.

   The "last" is the last of me wearing winter boots. They have gone into storage until next November and am I glad to see the back of them!



    The tall ones are for when I have to shovel deep snow. The brown ones  on the left are for winter walks as they have a good tread. The black ones on the right are for wading through slush when I'm at the mall. If I need any sturdy, waterproof footwear between now and November it will have to be my old trainers!


Saturday, 2 April 2022

Another Good Read

     I have just finished this book and enjoyed it although the subject matter isn't easy to read about. It has flashbacks to the Siege of Leningrad in 1941 when Germany invaded Russia and surrounded the city. It's pretty grim reading, told by a survivor, and deals with how it affected her whole life. It made me wonder about the after effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and how the citizens of Mariupol (currently under siege) will deal with the trauma they are enduring.


   Onto something not so gloomy. I made a significant decision the other day to have the giant Spruce tree in my backyard removed. It provides lovely shade on hot summer days but is very messy with needles, pine cones and twigs scattered everywhere, so it has to go. The arborist who is to remove it says it is "in decline" and I am always worried it will come down in a storm. Also it is too close to the pool so I am hoping it can come down before the pool is opened. 



   As it has a diameter of more than 12 inches, a permit is required form the City Planning Department so hope that is granted ASAP. I may be required to replace it with another tree that is more appropriate for the location. Stay tuned!

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Peeking Through the Snow

 Yes, we had snow (not much) today so March is going out like a lion. Bad news for the first daffodil shoots daring to poke their heads out.




    I'm sure they will survive with just a bit of frosted tips. There are also some tulips showing up. A while yet until we have some blooms, though.

Thursday, 24 March 2022

A Double Hit

   This was Wednesday. My neighbour "helped me out" by spreading some of the pile over the grass. At least I presume that's what happened.


     We had quite a lot of rain since then and today has been milder so the pile has shrunk considerably.


    It won't be long now until it is finally all gone!

    Probus meeting this morning and there were 57 people in attendance. Usually we have over 100 so some are obviously still reluctant to get out in public yet. We are all Seniors so that is understandable. One friend who is over 90 was there. She said she was just desperate for some human contact. The speaker was excellent - his subject was Aretha Franklin and he shared photos and archival footage of some of her early performances. What a "Natural Woman"! Do you remember that song? Also R-E-S-P-E-C-T!



Monday, 21 March 2022

Starting to Get Out More

   It has been a long, long wait  but finally things are beginning to open up here. Masks are no longer mandatory (except for a few exceptions) but many people are planning to keep them on for a few more weeks. I can't wait to resume most of the activities I used to do pre-Covid!  

   Last week I added two Scottish Country dancing classes to my weekly schedule as they finally started back so that is Mon., Tues. and Fri. evenings busy. Tomorrow I will be going back to the Bridge group (will need some refreshers as I have only played online since March 2020 but that will get my brain working) - can't believe that will be two activities on the same day.

   On Thursday the monthly Probus meetings will start up and if that's not enough excitement, I got a call to come in to the Senior's Centre to serve in the kitchen. My shift will be Wednesday afternoon again this year, that starts on April 6th. Also that week the Fitness classes resume and I have signed up for Yoga as well. 

    On top of all that, the tennis clubs are opening in April so I must send in my membership fee so I can get out there when the weather is nice. Hard to believe how everything is coming back to life. Be still my beating heart!

Sunday, 20 March 2022

This and That

   It was a pretty miserable day yesterday with rain on and off all day. So I had the chance to finish this new (to me) puzzle which has kept me entertained for the last week or so. It is quite a whopper but not particularly difficult.


  

 Yesterday's rain got rid of almost all the remaining snow piles but my snow bank is hanging on although remarkably diminished. Won't be long now until it is gone.



Saturday, 19 March 2022

A New Author


     I have just started this book by Katrine Engberg, a Danish author I recently discovered. She writes crime novels with the same two detectives solving the cases. The first was "The Tenant" which I enjoyed and there is a third one, "The Harbor" which I have reserved from the library. So that should keep me busy for a few weeks.

    Another treat is in store for me although it won't be for a while. There is a new Donna Leon book coming soon to the library but there are already 220 people ahead of me in the line. I hope the library has ordered plenty of copies! This one also features Commisario Brunetti and all the other endearing characters which make her detective stories so comfortable to read. It's like listening to old friends. Can't wait!

Friday, 18 March 2022

Shrinking Slightjy

   Despite two sunny days with the temperatures in the low 'teens, the snow bank has only shrunk a little. Rain is forecast for tomorrow so that might speed things up a bit. However, I am now able to get out of the driveway without having to drive over an icy mound, so things are looking up!

More grass showing today.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Second Installment

    Here`s the snow bank today. I didn`t take a photo yesterday as it snowed big fat flakes all day and I added to the pile when clearing the driveway.. At least the pile is white again!

Doesn`t look much different from Monday but at least there`s a bit of grass showing around the edges.


Monday, 14 March 2022

New To Me

    Very excited - I picked up my new car today! It`s a 2018 Prius Prime - a hybrid with a plug in battery so should save me on gas. I had my last car (also a Prius) for 15 years so it had served me well. This one will probably be the last car I buy so I wanted it to be environmentally friendly. It runs on gas and electricity - a rather complicated system but I`m sure I will figure it out.

Not my favourite colour but when you are buying used, you have to take what`s available.

    The Spring melt should start later this week (I know I have said this before but this time I am sure it is about to happen!) I am going to document the melting snow banks each day to see how fast (or slowly) they go. Here`s today`s shot.

No grass to be seen yet. Stay tuned for the next installment!



Thursday, 10 March 2022

Sign Me Up For Some Warm Weather

    Snow is forecast for tonight (pray God it's the last time!) and there are still snow banks lurking about. Everywhere the snow has melted is a muddy mess. I had a wander around the garden to see what was coming up and to inspect the pool cover which has a huge rip in it. Once all the snow has melted on top of it I will tape it up with duct tape - the universal repair kit! I think the cover will last until it is time to remove it in May but there will have to be a new one for next winter.

   In the garden, however, there are signs of life.

There are quite a few clumps of these spiky shoots, probably daffodils.


But nothing much happening here and won`t be for some time! It`s my rhubarb patch and it`s in a shady spot.
 

   What we desperately need is sunshine, warmth and a ton of rain to clean things up. Can`t wait!


Saturday, 5 March 2022

A Couple of Signs of Spring

    Seems ages since I last posted but here I am, still around!

    We had a Zoom meeting on Thursday (how people love to talk, it went on and on) but the only part I was involved in was whether to start up our activities again. Seemingly head office ( RTO - retired teachers) thinks we need to be getting out there with activities for our members. So after the meeting I looked into getting the Knitters and Crafters started. About 10 people are eager to meet but unfortunately the community centre where we used to meet is booked at our time. I will go down on Monday and try to arrange something with them.

   Weather is still very iffy and although we have had some nice sunny days, it's still pretty chilly. We have been going through a cycle of freezing and thawing but tomorrow is supposed to get up to 15C with rain. Maybe this is the start of the snow disappearing! I saw a few green shoots in a sheltered spot this morning.

   I was up at the crack of dawn today (for me that was 6:45) to sign up for some fitness classes at the senior's centre. The website opened at 7:00 and I got on pretty quickly and enrolled in three classes - Gentle Fit, Stretch and Strength and Yoga. That will get me out of the house before 9:00 a.m. three mornings at least. I have become very lazy recently with no reason to be anywhere. After my early rise I won't be staying up late tonight. 

Sunday, 27 February 2022

Two Tasty Meals

   I have become very bored with my own cooking during the pandemic and have been desperately trying to "up the ante" on meals recently. One day I made a lasagna using broiled eggplant instead of the noodles. Another good meal was a cabbage casserole, like cabbage rolls but much easier. I did make cabbage rolls too as the cabbage went on forever!

    Yesterday I had some Air Miles points to use so decided to splurge on scallops. They are an awful price here (I got four big ones for just under $10) as we are so far from the ocean, but my points covered that. Everything else I had in the house so it wasn't an expensive meal but Oh, so good! 

    I seared the scallops in butter, then cooked some green onions, mushrooms and red pepper in the remaining butter. Then I made a cheese sauce and returned the scallops and vegetables to the pan to cook a bit more. A final sprinkle of cheese on top and some green beans on the side made it all delicious and a very nice change. That was meal#1.

   There was quite a bit of cheese sauce left over (I always make too much) so I saved it and, this morning, made Eggs Benedict for breakfast. What a treat that was with orange juice and coffee. I skipped the slice of ham and just had it on toast but have to say it was delicious.  That was meal #2. Tonight is just some leftovers from the freezer as I have had quite enough treats for this weekend.

Thursday, 24 February 2022

A Shock!

     I usually grocery shop on a Tuesday but was feeling a bit under the weather earlier week so put it off and went today instead. What a mistake! The place was just full of people - and this was at 8:15 a.m. - and even though it didn't take me any longer to fill my cart, I had a horrendous wait to check out. Usually I'm in and out in around half an hour but it was almost an hour this time. Never again!

  Seemingly there are some special discounts on Thursdays (I didn't see any) which is why it was so busy. I am so used to just walking straight up to the cashier early in the morning - I guess I'm spoiled! 

    Making yogurt overnight tonight in my Instapot. Yum!

Sunday, 20 February 2022

Staying Pretty Isolated

    Daughter and oldest grandson came by today, ostensibly so he could clear my driveway of snow. I could have done it myself as it wasn't a big snowfall this time, but left it for him to do.

   They are my first visitors of the year (except for the appliance repair man) and I'm not expecting anyone else any time soon. I will be at their house in March for grandson's birthday and they will come here on Easter for our traditional leg of lamb meal. I see that isn't until April so maybe I will have someone else drop by before then. Meanwhile I am quite happy with my own company and will be even happier once the weather allows me to get out more,

   I did forget daughter came by in January with dinner for Robbie Burns birthday so this is actually my second visit in 2022. She didn't stay long as she was on her way home from work but we had time for a brief chat over coffee.

   So, at the moment, it is quite a solitary life chez moi. I'm hoping the fitness classes at the Senior's Centre will start up again in March and the number of infections and hospitalizations are going down. Dare I say "The end is in sight"? This feels like tempting providence - I read that Covid is rampant in deer populations, so who knows if another mutated version of Covid is lurking somewhere! 

Friday, 18 February 2022

Here We Go Again!

    This is what greeted me when I opened the front door this morning!



   Seemingly we got about 20 cms.  of snow. First I cleared the drive with the snowblower, then I shoveled the pathways. It was pretty cold to begin with (-12C) but I warmed up as I worked. The sun helped too and melted some icy spots. It got up to -3C later in the day so I went back out and tidied some parts I'd missed. All in all an energetic day!


From my kitchen window - the snow has pretty much dropped off the branches by now.

The pool is under there somewhere. The cover is really sagging with the weight of the snow. I hope it survives until the Spring melt!


Sunday, 13 February 2022

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

  .....which is why I clean the bathrooms on a Sunday! This was a famous motto of my mother. Although I believe in adhering to Christian values, I am not even slightly religious so a Sunday doing cleaning chores suits me fine. While putting away the cleaning supplies I noticed that the laundry room floor was a bit grubby so that got done as well. All in all, pretty pleased with my progress with the big Spring cleanup.

    It was too cold and icy underfoot for a walk today. I almost fell taking the garbage out as the rain last week on top of snow followed by a snap freeze created an ice rink of the paths I dug earlier. I did walk yesterday but had to keep my eyes down to make sure I avoided the icy patches on the sidewalks.

   Right now I am watching tennis - a tournament in Rotterdam with a Canadian, Felix A-A, in the final. So far he is doing well, up a break, but it is early days. Then more Olympics later on. I am really enjoying the speed skating, the ski and snowboard events, and any other sport that has a Canadian presence. Not a big fan of curling or ice hockey, though! I will skip those.







Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Dance Scottish

    I know I promised not to bore my followers with any more dance videos, but we learned an interesting one last night which I thought you might enjoy hearing about.

   The dance is called "The Royal Deeside Railway" and it was part of a program designed by Nigel, our teacher, celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 70th Ascension Day. All the dances we did had something to do with the Royal Family as the Queen is the patron of RSCDS (hence the Royal in the organizations name). Seemingly there would often be ceilidhs at Balmoral while the Queen was in residence.

    The Deeside railway line was inaugurated in Queen Victoria's time and the dance dates from then. The railway wasn't used as much by subsequent monarchs and was finally decommissioned in the 1960's. In the video see if you can identify the connection to a train - the wheels of the locomotive, the engine being followed by the carriage, for instance.



   Hope you enjoyed this. We certainly enjoyed learning and dancing it!

Monday, 7 February 2022

Still Digging Out

    It was a little milder today so I spent an hour scraping ice off my driveway and digging a circuitous route to the composter. It was hard work but I kept warm, even my fingers. Now my shoulders are aching but in a pleasant way. When I got tired I cleared the snow off the deck chair and sat for a while to get my breath back. The sun felt quite warm on my face!

I think the piles may have shrunk slightly but it's still a lot of snow!

This is the path I dug from the garage to the house and back yard.

 
Continuing around to the walkout which is intermittently frozen shut so I haven't been using it.
 The pool is under the snow to the left.

And finally to the composter - it's a bit of a trek but worth it for the glorious compost I will get next fall! I still have to put my boots on as I just dug through the deeper drifts.

   I hope you find this interesting. As you can probably tell, it will be some time until we see any signs of Spring although, once it starts to melt, it goes quite quickly. At least I won't be having to mow the lawn any time soon!


Friday, 4 February 2022

At Long Last

    Picked up a new book at the library yesterday and I am already well into it. It's the latest in the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon and I  have been waiting for it for several months. If you haven't read any (this is the ninth in the series) or seen the TV dramatization, you need to start with the first one and read them in order which I have done over many years. Each one is mammoth  (this one 880 pages!) and take her several years to write as they are meticulously researched. But I'm sure it will definitely be worth the wait.


    Today was a good day to get stuck into a new book. We are back into frigid weather and all I did today was shovel and snow blow. We didn't get as much snow as forecast but I still had to stop several times to defrost my hands. As I get older I seem to be more prone to getting completely numb fingers no matter how warm my gloves - the worst part is thawing them out as that can be quite painful. Luckily the rest of me stays quite warm when I am shoveling. It should warm up a bit by Sunday.

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Groundhog Day

     Today, the temperature has been above zero for the first time since December and what a lift it gives to the spirits! Despite being drizzly and dull I really relished an almost intoxicating lift to my mood. It is merely a short reprieve but very welcome! Wiarton Willie (our local groundhog) definitely didn't see his shadow today which means we will have an early Spring - let's hope he's right.

    On Monday I managed an abbreviated workout as I was still not 100%, but today I did the whole shebang (aerobics, abdominals and weights) and felt much better for it. Then later in the morning I walked for about 40 mins. (despite the drizzle, it was actually quite refreshing). Things are definitely looking up!

   We are headed for another big dump of snow overnight so it was even more important to have today's milder temperatures. It shouldn't be quite as much as last month but will be enough to give me a bit of a workout shoveling. I will boost the battery of the snowblower just in case it is a bit more than I can handle with the shovel.

Sunday, 30 January 2022

Finally, a Working Oven

    It's been nearly four months since I have been able to use my oven. I really got the run around from the repair guys but yesterday switched to a different company and had things working the next day. Tonight I made a Cabbage Roll casserole and can't wait to tuck in!



    It was marginally warmer today so I got in a short walk. I have been "under the weather" since Friday - dizzy, headache, nausea - and have slept a lot. I guess my body's way of healing itself. Still a bit headachy but getting outdoors helped.

   Restrictions are to be partially lifted tomorrow here and I am hoping that the Fitness classes at the Seniors' Centre will start up again soon. My Scottish Country dance group is set to return tomorrow so that is something to look forward to. Better go and brush up on the dances!

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

The Bard

    This week would normally be a round of Burns' Suppers but  that hasn't happened since 2020.  However daughter brought me a selection of goodies from the Scottish Bakery for my dinner tonight - some haggis, a meat pie and peas (not mushy peas, no one likes them in our family).  I will make my own 'neeps and tatties and it will be just like old times!


Monday, 24 January 2022

Another Snow Storm

    Boosting my snow blower lithium battery tonight as we are expecting another 5-10 cms. The machine should be able to handle that. No strong winds this time, thankfully! I was planning to hit the grocery store early tomorrow morning but that may have to be delayed until I have cleared the driveway. 

   There is still a pile across half of the end of the driveway from last week's snow plough. I got to the end of the driveway but the pile extends into the street and makes it difficult for me to see oncoming traffic. Luckily my street is pretty quiet. More will probably be added tomorrow but I'll worry about that later. Staying inside where it is warm for the time being!

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Just a Tad Chilly

   No shoveling today, after a mild day yesterday, everything has frozen solid - it would be like hacking away at concrete! Daughter and I got a space cleared yesterday so I can get my car out, so I went early to pick up some groceries. It was bitterly cold and hardly warmed up at all today so I wasn't out after that. 

   Had a Zoom meeting with my Probus club this morning and there was talk of possibly meeting in person by March. However, the numbers would probably have to be limited - not sure how that would work out as we often have over 100 people attending. The speaker was interesting although we had some technical difficulties with the sound. Nevertheless, it was nice to see some familiar faces.

   Tennis from Australia is on TV each evening at the moment, running into the wee small hours, but I have managed to catch some good matches. Still two Canadians in the mix but they have had tough matches so far. Hope they can sustain their winning streak. It's very hot there in comparison to our frigid temperatures!


Yes, that's negative 22 degrees tonight - a cold week coming up.



Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Digging Out

 We got about 40 cms. of snow overnight on Sunday and well into Monday, although in places it was more like 50cms. with the drifts. The wind was pretty wild. I have been digging and snow blowing off and on all day and have managed to clear half way down my driveway. Now my back is stiffening up so I just hope I am up to more shoveling tomorrow. Luckily I am well stocked up with staples so don't need to go anywhere.

   Everything was at a standstill with abandoned cars blocking the major routes. You'd think people would have realized getting out on the roads was a bad idea! Even the snow ploughs were stuck. Schools were closed for a second day which is the first time in my memory.

Digging a path for the mailman! The newspaper only made it half way up the driveway but at least it was delivered today. 

My snowblower was well used today although I had to recharge it twice. It's really not big enough to handle this amount of snow so I had to shovel off the top half first! The snow plough has been around our street twice so now there is a huge barrier across the end of my driveway (known as a windrow). Daughter has promised to come by after work tomorrow to help me get that cleared.
   I got the Wordle word in four tries today so am on a winning streak!